National Marco Day – July 14, 2023

National Marco Day occurs annually on July 14. The purpose of the day is to recognize and celebrate the special Marcos in our lives. It is a day to have fun and let our hair down as we celebrate those with the name. Marco is the Italian and Spanish form of Mark, it is also a derivative of Marcus. It is a masculine name that means ‘warlike’ and has ties to the Roman God of War: Mars. In terms of popularity, the data from the Social Security Administration show Marco to be within the top 500 most popular names but never breaking into the top 100. Marco was most popular in 2001 when it sat at its highest position 179. Now let’s delve into the history of the name Marco.

History of National Marco Day

Meaning ‘warlike,’ the name Marco has its roots in Italian and Spanish culture. The name became famous due to the famous exploits of Marco Polo who was a Venetian explorer who expanded trade routes to China.

In America, the use of the name grew in popularity when Italian immigrants relocated to the country and introduced the name to their communities. The name inspires adventure, bravery, and confidence due to its association with Marco Polo. Marco Polo was a merchant and explorer who traveled the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. His travels were recorded in “The Travels of Marco Polo” and Eugene O’Neill wrote a play called “Marco Millions,” based on the life of his life.

Marco Polo wasn’t the first European to explore these regions but he was the first to leave a very detailed account of his journey. This invaluable information provided the Europeans with an overview of the geography and ethnic customs of the East. Marco Polo’s travels inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travelers as well as provided substantial information to advance European cartography.

Marco Polo has been commemorated in many ways including having a breed of sheep named after him. A three-masted clipper, which was the first ship to sail around the world in under six months, was given his name. An airport in Venice is named after him as well as a frequent flyer program which is known as ‘The Marco Polo Club.’ But let’s not forget the tag game ‘Marco Polo’ loved by kids around the world.

National Marco Day timeline

1254
Marco Polo is Born

Marco Polo is born in Venice.

1271
Leaves for Asia

Marco Polo, his father, and his uncle set sail for Asia.

1295
Polo Returns

Marco Polo, his father, and his uncle return after 24 years of travel.

1296
He is Captured During the War

Marco Polo is imprisoned after being captured during the war with the Republic of Genoa.

1579
English Translation of Marco's Book is Published

The first English translation is published, entitled “The Most Noble and Famous Travels of Marco Polo.”

National Marco Day FAQs

What is the feminine version of Marco?

The feminine version of Marco is Marci.

Is Marco Italian for Mark?

Marco is the Italian version of Mark.

Is Marco a famous name?

The name Marco became popular in America in 1918.

National Marco Day Activities

  1. Take the day off and celebrate you

    Take the day off work or school and celebrate being Marco. You can go on a staycation and enjoy the time off.

  2. Go to the library or museum

    Go to the library or museum and learn more about Marco Polo's travels. Get some insight into this famous character.

  3. Play Marco Polo

    Unleash your inner child and play a game of Marco Polo, in a pool or out. Invite your friends and have fun.

5 Interesting Facts About Marco Polo

  1. His travelogue was written in prison

    “The Travels of Marco Polo” was written when he was in prison, as he dictated his life story to Rustichello, a fellow inmate and writer.

  2. Wasn’t the first to travel to Asia

    In the 1240s, Giovanni da Pian del Carpini reached China —over 20 years before Polo left Europe.

  3. He was an envoy for Kublai Kahn

    Marco was employed as emissaries for the Mongol emperor Kublai Kahn and had a strong bond with the Great Kahn.

  4. He lost much of his fortune

    On the return journey home, Marco lost much of his fortune to the local government in Trebizond who robbed them of some 4,000 Byzantine gold coins.

  5. Some dismissed his stories as lies

    Many Venetians were or began to grow skeptical of his tales.

Why We Love National Marco Day

  1. It's a day dedicated to Marco

    Today we get to honor and pay tribute to all Marcos in our lives. We get to show them how important they are.

  2. There are many fun and creative ways to celebrate

    Whether you go to a museum, host a party, or research more about the name Marco — there are many different ways to observe the day. Find one that tickles your fancy and enjoy.

  3. It's informative

    National Marco Day reminds us to research the history behind the name Marco. It allows us to expand our general knowledge.

National Marco Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 14Friday
2024July 14Sunday
2025July 14Monday
2026July 14Tuesday
2027July 14Wednesday

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